Last week I had my list, I had my plans, and then I got distracted.
I was successful in cleaning up the clutter. Check! I did laundry and ever so much housework, and then I started on the food drive project.
A year ago or so, my Charles and I purchased an AKURUM in white to serve as a stand-alone cabinet/island. Our galley style kitchen is pretty small, but there was room for a teeny bit more prep space. We got the taller legs for the cabinet so it would be comfortable for Charles. At an entire foot taller than I, our regular counter space can be a bit low for him. Our intentions were good. We put the base together as soon as we got it home, but we never put on the doors or drawers. Honestly, I was intimidated by those drawers. We packed the AKURUM with food and called it a day. And then called it a year while I constantly glanced at it, silently chiding myself for not finishing it.
Well, four grocery bags worth of donated food and a finally organized collection of stuff we were keeping, and it was time to screw up my courage and finish putting the cabinet together. And then I laughed. And then I kicked myself. Those doors and drawers were the easiest assembly and installation I've ever had with an IKEA product! Some snaps, some screwing together, and that baby was done. If we ever needed to replace cabinets, after this experience, I'd know what to use.
Now our last corner of the kitchen, as it turns into the eating area, looks clean and organized. Plus, it was so inspiring to get that cabinet completed, we may just be motivated enough to finally replace our countertops. We need to get a piece for the AKURUM anyway, so...
We'll see. One project finally completed, but the rest of the things on my to-do list remain undone. The outside projects will have to wait, though, because we've been trapped inside by smoke for the last week because of the King Fire. The image above is one of our smoky sunrises from this past week. This weekend is supposed to see hazardous air quality at times, so there will be no outdoor projects in the near future. That should give me more time to paint and craft, though, right?
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Once upon a time, I bought some hardware for the kitchen cabinets and drawers. I thought, “Gee, this would be a swell update to the kitchen, but I’m a little intimidated by drilling holes into the cabinet doors.”
And so I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Until three years had passed and a nice, thick layer of dust had coated the hardware sitting on a shelf in the laundry room. Then I thought, “Stop being such a pansy and replace the hardware that’s been needling you since you threw down the money for pretty oil rubbed bronze handles.”
Then I had an idea, a fool-proof way to get everything to line up properly. I made a three sided box out of leftover pieces of trim, measured where the holes were for the handle, drilled them, and screwed a handle to the box to make sure everything was just right. Bolstered by my creation, I drilled a hole and fastened the handle to the door.
And it was 1/16” off. 1/16th! I turned into a puddle of goo and despaired. My fool-proof creation was more fool than proof, and now I had a hole I couldn’t use in the door!
My Charles helped scrape me off the floor and mold me back into a human shape. He told me to putty the hole, wait for it to dry, and then measure again. “I can’t!” I wailed. “I suck too much!” But after moping a bit, I realized that I could put a bit of tape on the cabinet, measure it, and get the hole in the proper spot. I ended up using my sewing tape to measure since it laid flat against the wood and was easy to hold in place, and because it was only 1/16th off, the handle still covered the puttied hole.
With a few deep breaths, I tried again, and now I have beautiful, new(ish) hardware making my 70s cabinets a bit more modern. The drawer knobs – well, there wasn’t any angst involved with those guys. It was one screw in, screw knob in place, voila. I love how hefty they feel. Opening drawers feels so opulent now.
And so endeth the adventure of the cabinet hardware. We all lived happily ever after – at least until my next attempt at should-be-simple DIY.
If there’s one thing long-time readers have discovered, it’s that my goals for the year always end up taking way longer than I’m hoping. Each year around this time, I list my “resolutions.” Many of the items on this list are repeat stars, since there always seem to be issues that present themselves that have to be addressed NOW. In other words, this yearly to-do has become as much of a reflection on what was accomplished (or not accomplished) in the previous year (or years) as it is a list of goals.
So (deep breath) here’s the list for 2014, including many repeats from preceding resolutions – think 2013, 2012, 2011…
1. Replace the carpeting in the house.
Still hasn't happened. I’m hoping we go with engineered hardwood.
2. Paint the outside of the house.
In progress – two sides down, two to go.
3. Fix and/or replace the deck.
In progress. Everything is done except the deck boards!
4. Build a railing for our concrete steps.
We’ve got a post hole digger and posts. We just need to do it.
5. Finally build a pergola over the front door (and maybe a second one for the deck).
I downloaded some plans, so hopefully this year.
6. Finish the bathroom (sink vanity, flooring, medicine cabinet, toilet).
This is much higher on the list now, thanks in part to Disco Stu and California’s drought. We need to be saving as much water as possible!
7. Replace the kitchen countertops, change faucet, add backsplash.
Man I hope we get to this in 2014.
8. Install one more base cabinet to add much needed storage and countertop space.
We purchased a base cabinet from Ikea, but we still need to add a countertop to it. We’re planning on giving it a counter at the same time we do the rest of the kitchen. We hope to install butcher block and stain it the same color as our cabinets, something like the bottom photo in this post.
9. Re-fence Bodie's yard.
A bear broke into his yard a few weeks ago. The scary part is, we think the bear was trying to get our dog. It's been so dry this winter, food is becoming scarce. We fixed the damage the bear caused, but we really want to reinforce the fencing and string a line of electric wire across the top. That way, it couldn't hurt Bodie, but it would deter a bear from tearing down the fencing. This is a top priority, obviously, because of Bodie's safety.
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